After nearly two years of research, fact-finding and a little bit of therapy, my new book "Running for the Average Joe," is nearing completion. The draft version of the book is complete, and it now rests in the very capable hands of my editor, Kristen Bashaw in Seattle, WA.
We're trying to get it finalized and sent off to the US Copyright Office to hit the target release date of April 30th. Watch for details from the website or Facebook page!
In this first edition, we'll take a brief look at carbohydrates and the importance of them. The following excerpts have been taken from a chapter in my book.
"Just as a car needs fuel for its engine, our bodies need a carbohydrate fuel source to work efficiently. Our "car" is comprised of our muscles, brain and internal organs, and the fuel comes from the foods we consume. Food is converted to fuel by mixing it with the acids and enzymes in the stomach, which break down into a type of sugar called glucose.
Glucose is almost always your body's preferred energy source. It is easiest for your body to make glucose from carbohydrates like oatmeal, legumes, whole grains, nuts and yogurt, but if you provide your body with very few carbs, it will eventually be coerced to make glucose from the materials it does have available, such as protein or fat.
Carbohydrates often receive unjustified criticism, especially when it comes to weight gain, but it doesn’t mean that all carbohydrates are bad. Because of their numerous health benefits, carbohydrates have a rightful place in your diet to allow the body to function well. That said, some carbohydrates are healthier for you than are others. In this section we’ll try to understand more about carbohydrates and in “Chapter 10 – Nutrition,” we’ll learn how to choose healthy carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are a type of nutrient found in most foods and beverages, and occur naturally in plant-based foods such as grains. Carbohydrates are also added by food manufacturers to processed foods in the form of added sugar or starch. Fruits and vegetables, milk, nuts, grains seeds, and legumes are all sources of naturally occurring carbohydrates.
There are three primary types of carbohydrates: sugar, starch and fiber.
The simplest forms of carbohydrates originate naturally in some foods including vegetables and nuts, milk and milk products. These naturally occurring sugars include fruit sugar (fructose), table sugar (sucrose) and milk sugar (lactose).
Starch is actually a complex carbohydrate comprised of many sugar units bonded together and also occurs naturally in vegetables, grains, and cooked dry beans and peas.
Fiber can also be considered a complex carbohydrate and naturally occurs in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, peas and cooked dry beans.
Expressions such as "low carb" or "net carbs" sometimes appear on food product labels, but the FDA doesn't officially regulate these terms, so there's really no standard meaning. In most cases, “net carbs” indicates the amount of carbohydrates in a product, not including fiber and sugar alcohols. Another term you’ve most likely heard about is the glycemic index. The glycemic index classifies food with carbohydrates according to their potential and ability to raise your blood sugar level.
If you use a weight-loss diet that is based on the glycemic index, it’s usually recommended that you limit foods that are high on the glycemic scale. Starchy foods such as potatoes and corn, along with less healthy foods such as desserts and snacks are fairly high on the glycemic index rating. Most legumes, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products are lower on the glycemic index.
Carbohydrates are especially important for runners because your body uses carbs as the primary fuel source. Sugars and starches are transformed down into simple sugars during digestion process. Once absorbed into your bloodstream, they're known as blood sugar (glucose) and eventually, this glucose enters your body's cells, aided by insulin. Glucose is used for energy by your body, fueling all of your activities, whether it's going for a short jog or running a marathon. The spare glucose that isn’t used immediately by your body is stored in your muscles, liver and other cells for later use, or is converted to fat."
The store is open!
Available from my main website and Facebook page, the new WattsRunning store
is officially online and ready for you! Training plans are now available!
To download your training plans, do the following:
Make sure you're in the "Shop" and click on "Training Plans," and download the "WattsRunning
Training Plan Builder." From there, select the training plan(s) that you're interested in.
All "Beginner" plans are FREE! "Intermediate" plans are $1.00, and "Advanced" plans are $2.00.
All online purchases are protected using SSL encryption, keeping your personal data safe! Visa and MasterCard are accepted for immediate purchase. If you purchase electronic downloads such as the eBook or Training Plans, a link will be sent to you so you can download immediately. Registration is required for all downloads, even the free ones.
Your personal data is NEVER shared with anyone!
Until next quarter, stay safe and enjoy your training. If you have questions, comments or concerns, you can always contact me at: email@example.com
In each quarterly newsletter, I feature a run that I'd highly recommend. In this issue, we'll take a look at Deer Creek Canyon Park in Littleton Colorado
My very first trail running experience began at this beautiful mountain park, just a few minutes away from the Denver suburbs. It features a 2,200' climb from the parking lot to the top of the Red Mesa Loop trail, and offers unmatched serenity, considering it's proximity to the city. It's a great trainer for the novice runner, but can be challenging at times. Your strategy for this run should be to start out slowly, until your heart rate adjusts to the elevation changes.
When you first arrive, you'll notice the amenities right away, beginning with a huge paved parking lot that allows RV and horse trailer parking. The rest rooms are clean and well-maintained, as are all of the Jefferson County parks. With 13.4 miles of trails, you have several choices including the short, but challenging route to the "bridge" and back. The bridge is located at the intersection of the Plymouth Creek and Meadowlark trails. The total distance for this loop is around 2.7 miles, but you may feel like you've gone further by the time you've finished.
More advanced runners have a choice of a 7 or 10 mile loop with 1,500' to 2,200' of climbing that features the Homestead Trail, one of the finest running gems in the state of Colorado. Unlike the other trails that have rocky and technical surfaces, this trail is soft, almost plush, and is nearly level in terms of elevation gained or lost. It's a great break from the laborious ascent up the loose rocks on the surrounding trails.
This great park allows horses, bikes and dogs, but some of the trails are restricted to hiking/running only. Watch for the signs or you can get a hefty fine from one of the park rangers that frequent the area. This park is pristine when it comes to litter and trail damage. Most of the people that visit the park understand it's value and relationship to the community, and strive to keep it clean.
Be aware of rattlesnakes during the late months of summer and early months of autumn! There have also been bear and coyote sightings at this park, but they rarely pose a threat.
How to get there:
From C-470, take the Kipling exit. Turn west (right) on West Ute Avenue, then west (right) on Deer Creek Canyon Road. Turn left on Grizzly Drive, then right into the park. Please exercise caution and watch for road bikers on the way to the park, as they use this for a training course all year around. Click here
for a map to the park.
FACEBOOK UPDATE! In an effort to create consistency for my social networking names, I recently changed my Facebook page from:
It will take about 10 days for the various internet search engines to completely catch up for website word searches. Please be patient as this transition occurs.
You can still reach my main website at www.wattsrunning.com
, where you can preview the book, register for newsletters or shop for the new training guides.
Training for your 5k
Planning your first 5k race can be challenging and overwhelming for the first time runner. If you're not sure what it's going to take to conquer your first race, take a look at a few of these training tips that can help you survive it. We'll begin with the 5k, and work our way all the way up to the 26.2 mile marathon in the next 5 issues. Stay tuned!
- Get comfortable with your running before you enter your first race, and match the distance of 3.1 miles at least one time during your training.
- Gradually work up to the 5k distance - if you're new to running, begin with a half or full mile and get used to that distance before you lengthen your runs. Be aware of the pains that begin to develop and treat them right away. Use Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE) when you start to feel pain. Remember that "shin splints," the tearing of tissue away from the lower leg bones are very common, and to be expected for new runners. Shin splints tend to heal very quickly, so if you treat them right away, they shouldn't be an issue. Shin splints are the NUMBER ONE reason that new runners become discouraged and quit. Don't let them get the best of you!
- Plan your training runs and make each run part of a progression to your overall plan. Don't run "streaks" just for the sake of running every day. It's better to run three or four days with a bit more mileage and then take a rest day. Have a plan for each mile that you run. What is the goal? Is your goal to run 365 days in a row, without getting faster, or is it to run three or four days per week, and give your body some recovery time so you can get faster? Focus on QUALITY, not QUANTITY!
- Make a plan or download my FREE "Training Plan Builder" and the 5k "Training Plan from my website. See the download details in "The store is open!" section of this newsletter. "Beginner" plans are always free of charge.
- Eat right, sleep right and stay hydrated throughout your training.
- When race day comes, start out conservatively. A slower start can mean a stronger finish and a faster time overall!
- After the race - CELEBRATE! and plan your next one.
Free books again!
In an effort to attract attention to my new book, I've decided to give away 200 copies of the eBook
, normally a $9.99 value!
This is the OFFICIAL "Running for the Average Joe" eBook, not the pre-release edition.
Currently, I'm not advertising the exact release date, so you'll want to watch my website
or my Facebook page
for details. This offer will be extended to the first 200 people
that register for the free copy from the store. The registration link will be made available at that time. Stay tuned!
In my book, I have dozens of "mote-quotes" - motivational quotes to help you stay focused and driven during your training. This issue's quote is:
"You don't have to be THE best, you have to be YOUR best..."
Facebook Mobile Issue:
I've just been informed that the "Shop" link does not appear when you're logged into my Facebook page from a mobile device. This is due to the "App Restriction" that Facebook has in place to block 3rd party apps, such as my online store. If you'd like to visit the store, you can still go to the WattsRunning
page from a normal web browser and it will work just fine. Of course, the best method is still to go to my main website
and click on the "Shop" link.
The vendor that hosts my online store is aware of this issue and is working with Facebook developers to resolve it in the near future.